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Anna Werner

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Can't find the old thread, so I'll just put these photos here. They're from back in June, on the Pine River in St. Louis, MI. I had just obtained a vintage South Bend split bamboo and period reel that fit it AND a "new" catfish rod, purchased in bad shape at a yard sale and given a complete makeover to look like a custom-built rod! I was excited to try both. Dad and I were driving up north to visit an aunt, and we planned on a few hours fishing at this spot that we had been wanting to try for some time. Boy, was it a DAY! :)

Dad outfished me in terms of numbers, but I caught mine on the split bamboo AND under a float AND by sight-fishing, all of which made hooking and landing the fish all the more challenging and memorable!

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macfish here. Anna, that rod looks really nice. I have a very old bamboo fly rod that was given to me that is almost worn out but is the nicest feeling fly rod I've ever held and used. It's slower and softer than anything else I have tried but it plays fish so nicely. Your rod is probably faster and heavier action since it is not a fly rod. What was the reel you paired with it, something like a Mitchell 300? Thanks, Jonathan

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macfish here. Anna, that rod looks really nice. I have a very old bamboo fly rod that was given to me that is almost worn out but is the nicest feeling fly rod I've ever held and used. It's slower and softer than anything else I have tried but it plays fish so nicely. Your rod is probably faster and heavier action since it is not a fly rod. What was the reel you paired with it, something like a Mitchell 300? Thanks, Jonathan

The reel is as cool as the rod! I wish we would've gotten it in the pictures. It's a French-made Crack 100. I had honestly never heard of this reel before this summer, so I know next to nothing about it. (Any info would be appreciated!) It looks to be a product of the mid-60s, "camo" green in colour and with a very compact, laterally-flattened body. Mine is in absolute MINT condition. It obviously never saw water before this Carp-fishing trip. My folks must've found it somewhere when I was a baby; they bought it along with a bunch of ODD old lures, just as un-fished, and stashed the lot in a closet in my room that was not cleaned out between my baby years and this summer. :D I finally decided to clean out that closet just about time I was looking for a reel for that rod and, lo and behold, there it was, complete with original box and paperwork, and even spooled up with Mason T-Line (My folks must have planned to fish it and never got around to it.)! Because the reel had been in the closet for so many years, the line was still just like new, and I didn't change it before catching that Carp.

Not having fished a whole lot yet with this rig, and not knowing much about reel mechanics, I can't say for sure that the reel is super-duper, but it has just the right "heft" for my liking, as well as the right age and all-metal parts, and it just feels good in my hand. I could not have found a reel that fit that rod any better. It's really a PERFECT combo for me! Boy, did that set-up perform like a CHAMP on that fishing trip: cast great, no problems of any kind, and it handled that Carp like a dream, even when I got the fish to the bank and was trying to net it by myself while Dad fought his own fish and take pictures of me at the same time! :P:) (Yeah, he's a nutjob when we go fishing. :) )

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Guest phonebush

Anna,

Although that's a nice reel it's not a good idea to tell folks you are using CRACK. I've not come across the reel myself. You don't say what the style reel is?

Also, was Dad's carp completly blind or one eyed?

Phone

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Well, phone, it's just a little spinning reel with a really flat body and an un-skirted spool. The body is disc-shaped. Perhaps the most similar reel I can think of of the same time period is a Luxor. And yes, everybody has been making fun of the name of the reel. :)

Dad's fish had one normal eye. Weird, huh? It looked like one eye had been skin-covered since the fish hatched; in other words, I don't think it was an injury.

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Guest MajorLeagueCarp

Anna

Is it a closed face reel? There was a French 'Crack' closed face reel that was something of a cult item for UK river fisherman in the 70's..it was a quality reel...on a par with the ABU 506/7.s...favoured by the river match (competition) anglers...it was an expensive reel then...it is still probably worth a fine few squid over the big pond to collectors and nostalgists.....

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Heartwarming stuff Anna -- and looks like the "Blindy & Spot (black spot near the tail of your fish) meet Anna & Dad day out".

Brings back very fond memories of my first ever 12ft match rod, that was hollow glass butt and mid section and had three different tips. A hollow one, a split cane one and a solid glass one, with a thread for a swing tip. Coupled with an original Mitchel 300 -- it was a dream come true for me -- close to 50yrs ago :D I loved the feel with the split cane one. The only full split cane rod I ever owned was a 6ft saltwater boat rod --- that I caught some pretty big fish on.

I love the retro stuff -- and congrats that you are keeping it all alive :)

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Brid,

Thanks! I'd like to have a match rod like that! I've heard of similar things but have never seen one. I like the feel of split bamboo as well; split bamboo or fibreglass both feel much better to me than modern solid graphite. I have quite a few split cane rods: several baitcast and trolling rods, a few fly rods (which I never actually use), one convertible fly/baitcast (which I use, improperly, with a spinning reel :) ), and this South Bend, which is a convertible fly/spinning rod. I wanted a cane spinning rod SO bad that I was on the verge of building my own, despite the cost. I had a blank picked out, the thread colours, reel seat, and guides decided on, and somebody who knew what they were doing who could help me with it. Then this rod showed up for $65 through a guy who knew a guy. :D You'd also like the rest of my collection. Oh, I've got some COOL old rods and reels, and they ALL go fishing with me! The collection includes a veritable truckload of original Mitchell 300s, 301s, and other 3-somethings.

MajorLeague,

Did the reel ypu're thinking of look like the "closed-faced" one pictured below? This is by the same company, I believe, but the model I have is more like the second one (the 300), but smaller and lighter-built.

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